Tour de France Femmes is ‘the biggest thing’ for growing women’s racing

Otto I. Eovaldi

This report initially appeared on Velo_Information

DE PANNE, Belgium (VN) — The Tour de France is normally the spark that has lit the enthusiasm for the sport for lots of skilled cyclists and Mark Cavendish thinks that the revival of the Tour de France Femmes can encourage a generation of young feminine riders.

This season is the very first time in extra than 30 many years that there will be a women’s Tour de France that is organized by the similar people today as the men’s function. Whilst there were being quite a few races that operated as a de facto women’s Tour, there has not been a single considering that 2009.

Cavendish himself was drawn into biking partly by the mystique and magic of the Tour de France. He says that the riders who fought for a women’s race have paved the way for the following generation and the legendary French race is a enormous portion in acquiring women’s cycling.

“I believe that the system of the Tour de France is the biggest thing,” Cavendish informed VeloNews in Bruges, forward of the one-day Brugge-De Panne race. “Regretably, the girls that are coming through now will not see the reward of what they have fought for, it will be the subsequent generation that will see that but there has to be a system for ladies to aspire to.

“For me, it was anything that I aspired to as a male rider and that’s what the most important matter is.”

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Cavendish’s Swift-Stage Alpha Vinyl squad is one particular of the hottest men’s outfits to department into the environment of women’s racing. Rapid-Step manager Patrick Lefevere announced in December past year that he would sponsor the NXTG women’s squad through his recruitment company Experza.

This week, it was declared that the workforce would get a new title sponsor, AG Insurance plan, and that it was aiming for WorldTeam status in 2023. The staff, which features previous Belgian champion Jolien D’hoore as a sport director, will function as a sister group to Speedy-Move Alpha Vinyl.

Cavendish has been a vocal advocate for women’s cycling for the duration of his career and he’s happy to see his own squad last but not least generate a female workforce. He thinks that the crew can act as an inspiration for younger women, together with his possess daughter.

“I’m pretty happy that as a Wolfpack we have a women’s team now,” Cavendish reported. “My feminine colleagues have been battling for several years for a level taking part in subject involving the genders and I believe the girls that are in the younger staff have been aspiring to be like the females when they see what they have done to press women’s cycling ahead.

“As nicely as possessing a workforce for developing in phrases of racing and the sporting facet, it’s also superior to have a crew that keeps that development moving ahead. What the ladies have carried out now, it really is amazing and with any luck ,, they can preserve that likely by bringing the sport bigger and bringing far more ladies into the activity. My daughter can search up to them and look for a staff that she can expand into.”

The Women’s WorldTeam class is into its 3rd season just after it was introduced in 2020 with 14 of the 15 available licenses crammed. Riders who are contracted to people 14 squads are confident a number of positive aspects, which include a minimum wage, injury coverage, and maternity leave between other matters.

Future yr will see the women’s minimum amount salaries rise to match riders on men’s ProTeams — which is EUR32,100 ($35,000) — and the UCI has introduced its intention to increase it to the men’s WorldTour minimal salary as quickly as feasible.

Cavendish believes that receiving correct the Women’s WorldTeam class, and the WorldTour collection of races, is a system that will will need perfecting.

“They are nonetheless chopping and changing with the Women’s WorldTour and it is likely to get time to get that correct,” he said.

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